Fighting poverty through organic farming

7 December 2008 - 12:00am
News

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The poorest people in Sri Lanka are small-scale farmers. In recent years these farmers have seen food prices escalate, making it even more difficult for them to feed their families. In addition to rising food prices, farmers today need a greater number of inputs to produce crops. During the ‘Green Revolution' of the 1960s and 1970s, many Sri Lankan communities moved away from traditional farming methods and turned to external resources such as fertilizers, chemicals and hybrid seeds, all of which promised increased yields and enhanced productivity.

MONLAR, a War on Want partner organisation, encourages farmers to return to organic farming methods. The projects they support promote new forms of mixed-cropping, composting, seed cultivation and other farming practices which are sustainable and inexpensive. All surplus produce is sold at local markets, providing many families with much needed money for education and health care.

MONLAR's approach to farming has proven increasingly popular – they work in 100 communities across 17 of Sri Lanka's 25 districts. This approach allows families to support themselves, and provide protection from the global food crisis, which has wreaked havoc across the developing world.

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Putting farmers in control

There is alternative to our global food system of free markets supplemented by aid

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